Monday, January 19, 2015

What is in a name, as Christopher Marlowe said. Well if you are Frank Zappa's children (Moon Unit and Dweezil) apparently quite a lot.

Being officially vela, I have been following the Big Bash League. While involved in this perilous pursuit, I happened to be struck by the peculiarities of nomenclature of sports teams.

The names that the teams have, all sounds like standard sports team names. For instance, let us consider Brisbane Heat. The team is , as described, from Brisbane, and from vague memories of Class 7 geography and what I from what I have seen on TV Heat adequately describes Brisbane in December. However, they are languishing at the bottom of the heap at the time of writing this, so they don't seem like very hot stuff. It must be noted that this team is not to be confused with a basketball team from Miami.

There is another all purpose team name, that is found across sports. Hurricanes. The guilty team here in the BBL is Hobart. Dear Hobart, if you really want to be thought of in the same way as a natural disaster, why not name your team Hobart Tony Abbot?

Amongst the non BBL team names, the funniest Aussie cricket team name has to go to the Victoria Bushrangers. Bushrangers? Seriously? Does Victoria have an endemic pubic lice problem (the state -not Posh Spice)? It sure sounds like that is what they are expertly hunting, pubic lice. The comedy writes itself. Hussey is at the wicket, he is joined by Sidebottom who is a bits an pieces player, he does a bit of lice, and a bit of puss like discharge.

Moving away from the antipodes, let us examine an issue that is closer to home. The Indian Premier League (IPL).

Gentle reader; let us delve into an issue that is extremely close to my heart. My hometown,  Hyderabad. Hyderabad, like many other cities in India has many serious problems. These include: lack of adequate municipal water supply, over-exploitation of ground water, disappearing lakes, polluted River Musi, ocular assault by pink banners, inadequate public transportation, frequent strikes/ bandhs and worse still, a cricket team that goes by the name Sunrisers Hyderabad. To my ear, the name sounds like a bunch of chai coffee waalas at a mid size railway station trying to peddle their watered down instant coffee. This team was formerly owned by Deccan Chronicle Holdings, Pvt Ltd. and was therefore called the Deccan Chargers. That made the team sound formidable - didn't help much with the performance however, except for that one season in South Africa that fans longingly remember as the good old days. From San Diego to Hyderabad, Chargers is a name that seems common.

Another IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore is named after...packaged drinking water, not unlike for instance,  the New York Red Bulls, in the US Soccer League. Corporate sponsorship of teams does indeed lead to interesting names. Another such example is the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly Football club.

Further exploring the home of most sports league, let us stay in the United States for a while, visa permitting.  The Cincinnati Bengals are an American Football team named after two places. To rectify this situation and restore balance in the Universe, the Philadelphia Phillies spring to the rescue, albeit in a different sport. Just in case you missed where they were from, they tell you. Twice.

Some college mascots and teams are equally hilarious. The Rutgers University's Scarlet Knights. When you say the name out loud, it sounds like the name of one of those low budget soft porn movies that used to play in Lamba Theater in Secunderabad.  Something that beats that, the baseball team at Long Beach State is nicknamed - The Dirtbags. Another such example of low self esteem is the UC Santa Cruz -Banana Slugs.

After all this, I someday wish to make so much money, that I could buy a sports team - just so that I could name them vulgarly. Sucks for the players and fans. But hey, at least someone will get a laugh out of it (hint: me), and that is what is important.

Friday, January 09, 2015

You uncultured louts! What are you telling? Hain? Some Wright brothers invanted the airplane? Hain!! WRONG!! Ten Thousand Times Wrong. Did you not know that Flying Machines were invanted in ancient India? Then only Levis copied the concept and became world famous in Jeanetic Engineering.

A paper titled "Ancient Indian Aviation Technology" was presented at the 102nd Indian Science Congress by Capt. Anand J. Bodas, a pilot, and Ameya Jadhav, a lecturer. The paper allegedly based on a treatise called the Vyamanika Shastra remains unreleased due to unknown reasons. This shastra, was allegedly initially, written back in by the sage Bharadwaj (not Vijay Bharadwaj, who can write treatises on cricket balls launched into orbit off his bowling). In modern times, this treatise was rediscovered through a cutting edge methods called psychic channeling and automatic writing in the early part of the 20th century by a chap called Subbaraya Sastry. Psychic channeling and automatic writing sounds like how I wrote most of my end semester exams in undergrad.

According to this "document" ancient India not only had aeroplanes thousands of years ago (7000 years they say), they also functioned as space shuttles and could fly 'not only' forwards 'but also' backwards. These planes had air-hostesses, some of whom are still serving in our nation's official carrier, Air India.

A schematic of one of the flying machines is presented below (Source). As can be seen the diagram looks like one of rejected cakes from Ace of Cakes or some such cake based "reality" show like that. 

Prior to the discovery of oil in Arabia, ancient Indians did not have to worry about the price of Dubai Crude and fluctuating dollar rates. Their aviation was fuelled by completely indigenous and renewable sources - donkey piss. As can be seen, our ancient ancestors were also leaders in renewable energy. One can almost see the ads in the Employment News of that day and age. “Wanted - Renewable Energy Engineer. Qualifications BTech/BE/ from reputed institutes, BSc in Agriculture and Life sciences may also apply. Applicant must work well as a part of a team. Must be an animal lover, must also not be an animal ‘lover’”.  MBAs need not apply; we are not dealing with bovine excreta here.

Apart from flying machines, the session also dealt with such wonderful facts such as

1) MBA Degrees- Cows turning everything they eat to 24 carat gold -perhaps that is why we initially considered cows sacred, not so much holy as err..golden goose?
2)Helmet on Mars- Apparently there was a helmet found on Mars by NASA, which originated from our glorious land during the Mahabharata war.

One hopes that future edition of the 'Science' Congress also bring forth such important and unknown ideas and information from our pasts. Jai Hind.


Thursday, January 08, 2015

So there exists somewhere in the realms of cyberspace a facebook page that seeks to bring together those who used to blog on the rediffblogs platform. Rediffblogs! Damn! That was a while ago. It feels like a different epoch even. I could have evolved to a Homo- no I don't mean I have come out of the closet (and why, yes we still do tasteless gay jokes here).

I was reminded of the fact that I still have this corner of cyberspace through which I can irritate reach out to millions of OK three other people. So here goes.

Earlier this month Sushma Swaraj, India's External Affairs minister proposed that the Bhagwad Gita be declared the "Rashriya Granth". Well I guess that is fine, the Kiwis have their Hakka, I guess we too should have some noises to "shock and awe" our opponents on the playing fields of.... Oh wait, it isn't the Rashtriya Grunt? Hmm, a national book eh? At least it is better than Chetan Bhagat's writing, which the entire nation seems to love . What could be worse is C.B doing a reimagination of the Geeta, or better yet, rewrite the entire Mahabharat while he is at it and have a catchy title such as

1) One night @the Lakshagriha
2) 1/5 Wife
3) 2 Estates
4) Revolution 2020 BC (No Virat, not that kind of BC- and no Subramanian Swamy, I meant Virat Kohli and not Virat Hindu)
5) The 99 Mistakes of my Wife (The life and times of Dhiritarashtra) (We also do casual misogyny here)

Of course, here the Geetaupadesh would not happen in the middle of a battlefield but on top of some academic department, hostel or IT building where the character formerly known as Krishna, would be telling the character known as Prince Arjuna, the ways to pass the departmental viva exam, the next round of appraisals, or how to get with some hot chick. Best seller guaranteed!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Bachna e haseenon

Bless me blogger for I have sinned. It has been 274 days since my last confession post. I keep forgetting that this place exists.

Fine whatever I will probably say three Hail Mary's and push off.

Speaking of Hail Mary's, I remember this poster I once saw in the loo of a bar in New Orleans.

The Gambler's Prayer.

Hail Mary full of grace
Give me a face card and an ace. 

Anyhow. It is now time to reacquaint myself with my readership.

Hello dear reader(s?). I come in peace. Hmm, on careful reflection that statement does not sound right. When read aloud, it makes it sound as if I am some sort of sexual deviant- masturbating into bags of frozen peas or something. I come in peas- that would make a regular...wait for it. Mutter fucker then?

As a result of my prolonged absence, I have missed capitalizing on some amazing comedic moments happening in real life. From muffler wearing amateur politicians and professional coughers to THE interview- the one that empowered all our women and changed all the systems and fundamentals.  From cricket and daughter enthusiasts to mass murders in Best Korea.   Then there were the elections, brought to you by Viagla.

Sigh. Too bad. You snooze, you lose. Here is hoping for more blogging in the following year.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Dear Mr Goswami,

Who is Dineshan, and why does always want to know things?


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Give me Liberty, or give me Basheerbagh.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

No Virginia, Of Human Bondage is not a prequel to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Apparently bathroom graffiti is not restricted to people like you and me... when I say you and me, I mean mostly me. Haven't we spoken about some of my descendants scribbling on walls before

Apparently this love of free artistic expression extended to people like George Gordon Byron, the 6th Baron Byron, better known simply as Lord Byron. 

Now Byron, has to his credit some wonderfully lyrical poems, such as "She walks in Beauty", one of my favorite poems. That is until ,I watched an episode of the always hilarious QI. Which quoted Byron's writing on a lavatory wall.

For a good stool

O Cloacina, Goddess of this place,
Look on thy suppliants with a smiling face.
Soft, yet cohesive let their offerings flow,
Not rashly swift nor insolently slow.


Friday, July 27, 2012

To compete with Google fiber, Apple Inc. has come out with a new product iSabgol. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Title at the end.

Back in the early part of the 20th century, they found these caves in Spain (kindly refer to previous posts about weather patterns therein), which had all kinds of paintings in them, no not gang tags...or well they could have been. You see, the graffiti on the walls of said caves in Peunte Viesgo in Spain, was quite ancient. 
These ancient vandals, my descendants, left quite a mark on many caves, proving the point to certain Fox "news" anchors that Western Europe has indeed been in the grip of Marxism forever. To be Franco frank, that part of the world has indeed had issues with communism. Tearing ourselves away, from current day miscreants, to those no good descendants of mine. 
Apart from drawings, these idiot miscreants, left hand prints all over the walls, and thereby perhaps fingerprints? It was time to call in the forensic specialists from CSI (no, not the church), who will then run the CC TV footage and enhance and rewind and do fancy camera tricks, until they can look back into the stone age. Remember my fellow Indians, for every door broken by Daya in CID, there is an ENHANCE done in CSI. While Daya can only break doors, these chaps with the A/V equipment can do so much more, they can take a grainy, low resolution black and white capture from a security camera from across the interstate. Said video is then enhanced to such a degree (MA.Gender Studies) that they can identify the killer, who is actually in a store 100 feet behind the camera. They simply "ENHANCED" the video to such an extent, that they could see the reflection of said perpetrator in one of the many compound eyes of a mosquito on the other side of the interstate. So from this kind of careful analysis, it was concluded that the perps of this graffiti could actually be Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis). (actual story here). As is usual in these matters there is some disagreement, hell they can not even agree on giving the Neanderthals a name (see footnote *). I think Steve would do nicely. Some other researchers believe that it was indeed not H. neanderthalensis, but their distant relatives, and out forefathers Homo sapiens. Everyone has forefathers...I just knew one. 
Neanderthals or sapiens, whoever was responsible, one thing is very clear and this is the main point. Homos were involved in interior decorating even 40,000 years ago. 

The end.

Speaking of the "end", here is the title. 
"How to piss gay people off"

*NB: There exists some difference in literature as to the correct nomenclature for the Neanderthals. Commonly used are Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, or Vasant dhoble. I profusely apologize to the Neanderthals for that cheap joke.

NB2: It is also surprising, apparently because Neanderthals, have not been known to paint the town, red or any other colour. 
They were good boys, who ate curd rice and went to sleep early, They would also go with their mothers to the temples and fast on ekadashi.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Who's afraid?

If I ever move to Virginia, I'd get a vanity licence plate reading Woolf!.

Virginia Woolf.
"The other day, my bank complimented me on my financial acumen they told me that I had an outstanding balance."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I was reading a wikipedia page about this chap called Kaka Joginder Singh. He was awesome in a strange way- I quote from his wikipedia page " Kaka Joginder Singh (1918 in Gujranwala - December 23, 1998 in Bareilly) (alias Dharti Pakad meaning "one who clings to the ground") was a textile owner who contested and lost over 300 elections in India".

Then something struck me, no, not a bored reader who was tired with all the crap I usually dish out. What struck me was as follows. I own and occasionally wear shirts and  trousers and related items, hence, am I not a textile owner too? Me and I guess most of the world except perhaps the Sentinelese tribals or old Digambara monks. Did you miss the Digambara and read that as "Old Monk"? 

On a completely unrelated note ; d
oes anyone else remember this show on Doordarshan from the late 80s- perhaps 1989 (CE. not BC.I am not that old, yet). ? It was about some kids that were stuck in the world of vegetables. The king of this healthy land was the Baingan Raja. How many of my fellow Hyderabadis suppressed a snicker there..or a 5 star, if you so prefer?. I digress, Baingan Raja ( and not Baigun ka raja) had a standing army, I wonder if mid management in the veggie army was by see it already has the Colonels.

Speaking of food, many non-desi people  I meet here, especially Americans bring up food, for them, their only contact with Indian "culture" are Indian movies and food. Let us take food for instance,and they try to bond speaking of a chicken tikka masala they ate at the Indian restaurant nearby- which totally sucks fyi. Food is so much a part of cultural identity. What we eat, defines us in so many ways. Even what we do not eat tells you a lot . 
I have often wondered how food "back in the day" would have tasted. So many of the ingredients we take for granted in Indian cuisine today are not native to our land. Tamarind, for instance,  ironically called Tamarindus indica; is native to Africa. Potatoes and Chillies are native to South America, as is corn. Tomatoes are an other South American export. I can't imagine how Indian food would taste without these. No tomato in rasam, rajma or in butter chicken would not be fun. I cannot imagine Andhra food without chilies.Of course with so many different people from all kinds of places visiting various regions there is another factor in culinary evolution. Once I am done with grad school, I think I should start reading more about this. For now however, I throw myself back into work. 

Monday, April 16, 2012


The reign in Spain stays mainly in the plains, is that because the mountains are Basqueing in the sunshine?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

This piece fits nicely with the title of the blog don't you think?

I present Pithecanthropus Erectus, originally by Charles Mingus.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Filter Copy.

Unless you live under a rock, or are not Indian, it will not come as a huge shock to learn that a lot of music in the Indian film industries is "inspired" from external, or even internal sources. One expects it from the usual suspects, the Anu Maliks the Bappi das and so on. One of my favorite songs from bachpan, you know back in the paleolithic era was Mehbooba Mehbooba from Sholay, it had nothing to do with Helen's "boobas"(Maha or otherwise) I assure you, we did not have TVs back then,well I never had a TV at any rate (3% APR)
Just in case you don't remember the song, here you go, from the good pirates folks on youtube. We have

I was unpleasantly surprised when I came across this.

sound familiar.
Pancham da, how could you...from some chap named Demis Roussos. Sounds like some chick named Demi Rousso went to the same numerologist as Karan Johar or Suneil Shetty..Numerologist or whatever you call what do you call those chaps you visit (by you, I don't of course mean you specifically dear reader), then said frauds err honest gentlemen (don't sue me please I am broke) say change your spelling from Sunil Shetty to Zudatgdfndso Sdashadsedghtjjtsay. (pronounced Sunil Shetty) for good luck.

So let us look into this song...ooh but wait, what is this coming over the horizon, could it be the 9th Cavalry charging in, to the rescue and all, or even Delhi Police?

Ha! Ha!

Not it is not just Panchamda, in the immortal words of this elderly gentleman (Hyderabadis read as Chichcha) I once encountered "Yahan pe sob choraan hain".

Friday, February 03, 2012

Lucy sent me a kindle this week. So much fun. I already have an e-book reader which is extremely temperamental, so this is a welcome gift. My first purchase, was of course, P.G.Wodehouse. This collection, has some of his less famous school stories.
Also, I realized how many free ebooks there are on Amazon. I found three books of Harry Graham's poems. I leave you with a couple of my old time favorites from him.


When Mrs Gorm (Aunt Eloise)
was stung to death by savage bees
Her husband (Pebendary Gorm)
put on his veil, and took the swarm
He's publishing a book next May
on 'How to make bee-keeping pay'


Billy, in one of his nice new sashes,
Fell in the fire and was burned to ashes;
Now, although the room grows chilly,
I haven't the heart to poke poor Billy.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Holy Crap, sometimes I am surprised by the kind of stuff I find on spotify.

Brace yourselves. I found a huge multi album collection of Altaf Raja! Including this gem Peelo Ishq di Whiskey (spotify link)

Excuse me while I go and stare into space.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I came across a little post on facebook the other day, where some one was talking about writing a memoir about their days in graduate school.

I wish I could write. I really do. I can't express myself well enough to convey the soul shattering and paralyzing loneliness, frustration, depression and not to mention sheer madness of grad school. It is a tragedy though, I used to enjoy it when I started out. I loved the challenge, I loved having to figure out stuff for myself. Little did I know that stuff I had to figure out for myself would be funding. I found it extremely difficult to try to figure out a totally new method of extraction and analysis with no guidance, all the while wondering how I'd manage to find money to eat the following semester. I realized, it is not possible to work at your best if you do not know literally where your next paycheque is coming from. I spent a few months agonizing over what I should do next. Then one day I was sitting in my car, drinking a medium coffee (with milk and sugar) from Dunkin Donuts and smoking a cigarette while staring across a fallow field. When suddenly I just said to myself "Fuck this! I can't do this anymore", and that was that. The day I decided to quit my PhD. was brilliant. To use a cliche "it felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders"..ok, just for you gentle reader I will come up with something completely different. you know when you drink a lot of beer and go on a road trip and are dying to piss really badly (read level: Tycho Brahe*) . In the worst possible way, you are forced to hold on because the next exit/ pit stop is like 20 miles away. Then when you finally get to the pit stop you see Mahesh Babu (back story) and then you go to the loo, you know how that feels? This was exactly like that, only mentally and no one was in danger of wetting themselves..only of committing homicide.

*It was long thought that Brahe died because he was at a banquet and needed to pee really badly and could not get up as that would have been bad etiquette therefore developed complications and died. Recent studies however indicate that he may have died of mercury poisoning.

Monday, October 31, 2011

You know what irritates me.
These forensic shows on TV. I mean. I love watching them, don't get me wrong. I mean I even have 3 seasons of Bones on DVD. Of course not, I am joking, I may have torrents but.
Anyhow the thing that bugs me the most is this . Investigators find unknown substance stuck to victims nose hair. 3 hours later techs have carried out "analysis" on the "GC-MS" and will tell you all kinds of things about this previously unknown substance such as its name, billing address, mother's maiden name and social security number.

As someone who has had many sleepless nights developing a method for analysis using a GC-MS. It makes me want to curl up in a fetal position and cry. Here is a small note to those who write these shows.

Dear fornicators.

Do you even know how difficult it is to develop new methods of analysis for known compounds let alone unknown compounds. You could take 6 months varying all kinds of parameters to get the extraction, derivatization , GC-MS operating settings and all that just perfect, and you still will fuck up. There was this funny, charming and handsome researcher who was trying to develop a method to analyze an equally charming substance., who worked for six months on getting this right. He was getting decent recovery for samples of concentration 100 ng/L to 500 ng/L anything above and below..sorry not happening. And note, yes ng nano gram not fucking mg.
Plus very rarely will you find the same chappie in a lab coat that will carry out this analysis, be able to tell you that the maggots you found in the victim's rectum masturbated thrice daily after feeding on flesh(the maggots- not the chap in the straitjacket labcoat) and solve that unfinished theorem left on the murdered physicist's black board and hack into the NSA database all while juggling spent shell casings while bonking the hot waitress from the diner while playing MMORPGs . Scientists aren't supermen. Even if some of us think we are, and wear our underpants over our trousers. We can't do everything. Most of us can barely understand stuff that is out side our fields of specialization. What this does is make people ask us, "Hey! I found this packet of white powder in my house, can you put it in your 'GC-MS' and tell me what it is?". This causes us to have responses like "let me tell you what you can do with this powder, try dissolving it in some alcohol, if it dissolves, inject it into your veins. If you get high...proceed as normal. If you die, my problem is solved". I don't like orange jumpsuits very much.


Prisoner 56542
Rikers Island.